The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) may soon begin an industrial action over inadequate funding of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).
The President General of the association, Mohammed Yunusa, who disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend, identified non-budgetary provision for FHA and non-involvement in the National Housing Policy by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing are government policies that are aimed at exterminating the Authority and jeopardize the carriers of the workers.
Yunusa also said that the appointment of Board members in the last 40 years of the Authority has adversely affected its operation.
He added: “A high retinue of up to 17 board members from the political class drained the Authority’s lean purse apart from influencing the siting of estates in non-viable places such as Bayelsa, Cross River, Kaduna, Benue, Osun, Gombe among others. Also, the appointment of inexperienced politicians as general managers for the organization has resulted in to-heaviness and stagnation in the Authority. This has a resultant effect of de-motivating and frustrating the highly qualified and talented career officers.”
While urging the Federal Government to adopt the social housing scheme to bridge the about 16million housing deficit in Nigeria, the association said the adoption of Public Private Partnership even in advanced countries of the world has failed.
Yunusa insisted that government owned agencies like FHA are best suited to relate with international agencies such as Shelter Afrique and UN habitat to tackle housing challenge.
“Our housing needs at all levels require aggressive and urgent action. A well restructured and funded FHA with the right crop of skilled professionals at all levels has the prospect to successfully execute our housing programmes for those who can afford it and those who government must provide for. FHA is already visibly on ground in all the geopolitical zones and states of Nigeria and therefore well positioned to execute the social housing programmes of government,” he explained.
The SSASCGOC boss highlighted that apart from the provision of fund and grants, FHA must be free to operate in line with the established Act with functional board of directors and a competent management team charged with performance bonds that will set the guidelines to motivate the workforce in a harmonious environment to deliver accordingly.
While he did not give details on when the strike would commence, Yunusa said, “we are giving notice that the union would go on indefinite action should our demands not looked into by the Federal Government. The union, under its parent centre – Trade Union Congress – has members in 14 government establishments and we shall mobilize everyone to embark on the action.”
He then urged the ministry of power, work and housing to involve the FHA in the implementation of the national housing programme of the Federal Government for more Nigerians to have access to houses under a mass housing scheme.